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The Heat is On

PHOTO:  The deadline for a low-income heating-assistance subsidy is nearing.
PHOTO: The deadline for a low-income heating-assistance subsidy is nearing.
December 5, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Frost on the ground on many of these late fall mornings is a chilly reminder that the dead of winter isn't far away in Kentucky. Neither is the deadline for low-income families to apply for help with their heating bills.

Dec. 14 is the deadline to apply for the one-time subsidy, according to Mike Moynahan, Kentucky Community Action energy program director, who oversees the federal program.

"The main driver of the subsidy program is to try to prevent that disconnect situation where you're in a crisis situation … Either you are going to be disconnected or you have been disconnected."

Commonly known as LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Plan, the program provides a family from $100 to $300, depending on their heating source and income level.

To be eligible, Moynahan says, households have to be at 130 percent of the federal poverty level or below.

"Which roughly, for a family of four, is about $2,500 of your gross monthly income before taxes."

Last winter, the program funneled $45 million in heating assistance to 141,000 Kentucky families. However, Moynahan says, as many as 75 percent of eligible families are not being reached.

"I think it's just making the program more well known. We try to do as much as we can as far as outreach."

To check for eligibility for LIHEAP, go to any Community Action office in Kentucky or call 1-800-456-3452.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY